Woman is feeling pain in lower part of her stomach on white backgroundPCOS. 1 out of 10 women have it, and countless women go undiagnosed. If you think you may have PCOS or are ready to kick this frustrating condition to the curb, an OBGYN can help. Here are a few facts about PCOS that will help get you started on your healing journey.

All About PCOS

Put simply, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance that is often accompanied by small cysts that form on the ovaries. A woman can be diagnosed with PCOS if she has at least 2 of the following 3 criteria: irregular periods, blood tests or physical symptoms that show high androgens, and/or polycystic ovaries. While the symptoms and causes of PCOS vary from patient to patient, it is often accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms.

  1. Unpredictable menstrual cycles: The only thing worse than having “that time of the month” every month is not knowing when it is going to show up. Because of imbalanced hormones, women who have PCOS tend to have irregular periods. Still, not all women with irregular periods have PCOS, so this symptom should be accompanied by others as well.
  2. Unexpected hair growth: If you have been doing everything you can to get rid of the stubborn stubble on your chin, your may have hirsutism: unwanted, male-pattern hair growth on a woman’s face, chest, or back. The culprit? Many women with PCOS also have higher than average androgen levels. A hormone blood panel may indicate high levels of testosterone, DHEA, or DHEA-S.
  3. Cystic acne: High androgen levels can also wreak havoc on the skin. These hormones boost sebum production and trigger inflammation, and many (but not all) PCOS patients struggle with acne.
  4. Trouble with fertility: Women who struggle with a hormone imbalance tend to have a more difficult time when trying to conceive. In fact, the PCOS Foundation suggest that PCOS is responsible for almost 3/4 of all fertility problems. This may seem like a scary statistic, but women with a diagnosis don’t need to worry too soon. Working with a skilled OBGYN can make a huge difference for women who are trying to conceive.
  5. Stubborn weight gain: Many women who have PCOS also deal with insulin resistance, and this can lead to seemingly out of control weight gain. By age 40, 40% of women with PCOS will develop prediabetes or diabetes. To control this, metabolic supplements like inositol may be used. Vitamin D and Magnesium have also been shown to play roles in both insulin resistance and egg development. Consult with an OBGYN before taking any oral supplements or medications.

El Paso’s Leading OBGYN

If you are one of the 5 to 10 percent of women who struggle with PCOS, you do not have to suffer forever. Don’t hesitate to contact the medical team at Desert Mountain Obstetrics & Gynecology today. With proper lifestyle changes and the direction of an educated and experienced OBGYN, you can get your hormones back in order and take control of your health!

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